Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, shown here at a ceremony in Australia, has traveled more than any other Secretary of State. (Photo by Colin Murty – Pool/Getty Images)

Opinion: Why we don’t allow Hillary Clinton to mean what she says

No means no, and tired means tired.

You would think a Secretary of State would have earned the right to be taken at face value. But I don’t know what Hillary Clinton has to do to convince us that she is, in fact, tired, and wants to rest. That she is so tired, she is not in a position to make a decision about running around the block, let alone running for president.

Is it that we don’t believe she is really as tired as she says she is? Since becoming Secretary of State in 2009, Hillary Clinton has logged a total of 843,839 miles, visited 102 countries, and been on the road a total of 351 days, according to the State Department. No other Secretary of State has visited more countries during their time in office, and none has stayed on for more than one term since 1970. So, no, that can’t be it.

Is it that the Democratic Party sees no other strong candidates in sight and is desperate for a 2016 Clinton candidacy? No doubt there may be some pundits out there eager for a Clinton headline, but I hardly think democrats are anything but elated these days about the win they just wrestled away from republicans. No that isn’t it either.

Alright, I’m going to say it: Is it because she is a woman? She can’t really know her own mind, and so, she will, of course, change her mind? The one she can’t have really made up?

Or is it because her own husband is out there with the half smile saying, “She says she doesn’t want to run,” as if she were saying it, but wasn’t really sure she meant it?

And, no, Chris Christie doesn’t count. People weren’t wondering if the governor of New Jersey knew what he really wanted when he insisted he wouldn’t be running for president earlier this year. They thought he knew, and wasn’t letting on. They thought he was playing us, deliberately stringing us all along because he wanted to be wooed. Everyone believed he really did know what he wanted, whatever that was. He just wasn’t telling us.

But Hillary, well, Hillary says she’s tired, but “What do you think, is she going to run? I think she’s going to run,” I just heard a cable commentator say on TV. “Can she really know that she doesn’t want to run for president?” he finished.

Yes. Yes, she can. She really, really can. This is a woman who knows what it is like to run for president. This is a woman who has campaigned, and lived with, and contributed to a president’s legacy. If there is a woman in this country in a position to know what it’s like to run for president, and to know whether she wants to do that or not, it’s Hillary!

Can she change her mind? Sure she can. And she may very well do that and decide to run when she’s good and ready.

But, for now, could we just take what she is telling us at face value, or at least pretend to? After all, women do know how to speak their minds, believe it or not. When they say no, they mean no. And when they say they’re tired, men near them would do well to bring them their slippers, instead of making them even more tired by second-guessing them in public.

Anjanette Delgado
writes for and about women. She is the author of The Heartbreak Pill (Simon and Schuster, 2008) and The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho and lives in Miami.

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